Category Archives: cars

Doing Truck Things

It never fails…whenever I travel somewhere in my Tacoma, I have this burning desire to go on an adventure. You see, the Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road has been my DREAM truck for many, many years. Since I was a kid, I thought the Taco was the bees knees. I’ve always loved the Tacoma. It’s just bad ass.

It goes anywhere, does anything, and even Top Gear wasn’t able to kill the Tacoma (Hi Lux) after smashing it with a caravan, demo’ing a building with it on top, letting it float out to sea, and even setting it on fire. Who wouldn’t want a truck like that? Besides Vegans…they don’t want anything cool…

About a year ago, Kinsy and I finally made my dreams come true and we bought a 2010 TRD Off Road. //me faps.

Anyhow, today at Miller Motorsports Park, it started to rain. My very first thought was to go bonkers in the nearby mountains…so, after warming up for a few mins in the off-roading park at MMP, I set off for a 3 hour adventure.

toyota tacoma trd off road articulation flexing
Flexing wicked

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Better MPG and More Powah

so i was talking to this motor builder guy while i’ve got the hood of the element open at an SCCA race event…i asks “you ever work on elements? can you get any power out of them?”

“oh yeah, of course. we actually work on those motors all the time. just depends how much you want to spend…”

“100 bucks,” i laughed to him. he laughed pretty heartily for a minute or two before i saw a light bulb moment come over his face.

he points to the intake airbox resonator thingo and says “first, get rid of all that crap. you don’t need it. also, if you’re mechanically inclined, you can take the head off and do a 15 thousands shave on the head. about 4 hours of your time and $75 for the cut.”

after talking with him for a while, he said that raising the compression like that is good for about 25-30 ponies under the bonnet..and that you won’t need anything extra..it’ll all just bolt right back together with all stock parts!

i also inquired about taking the airbox thingo out, asking him about driving thru rain and the likes, and would i have any hyrdo-lock issues, and he said no.

i was skeptical… so i did it. well, the airbox part. i’ve not milled the head yet…

anyways, after a real world test, i’ve got some figures for ya…

2005 RallEment, 119,000 miles on it, regularly serviced by myself, full synth oil (5-20w), bone stock, except for a K&N drop in filter.

BEFORE:

i average between 18-19.5 mpg on the car (city and hwy combined), typically driving everywhere in cruise control at about 77mph. the best i’ve ever gotten (and i check nearly every tank against my GPS) was 21.5 mpg of freeway only driving with the wind at my back.

AFTER:

with NO change in driving habits, on my last tank of gas, driving OVER donner pass from sacramento to reno (which is a lot of steep uphill driving, where the element always tries to drop out of overdrive cause it doesn’t have enough power), i got 21.4 mpg. and it did about HALF as much shifting over the steep hills.

i drove another ~100 or so miles to fernley (mostly flat freeway driving) and back over the next 2 days, and topped off again; 23.8 mpg! again, no change in driving habits whatsoever..except, with the added power of the element, i feel like i don’t have to be as heavy footed with the throttle to maintain speed.

my drive home from reno USUALLY takes about 1/2 a tank.. it took me 1/4 tank for the return trip…i have yet to top off to find out mpg from the return trip.

realistically, it feels as though i’ve got a 10-12 hp gain from the airbox mod and drop in filter. i’ve had the drop in K&N installed for the last 15,000 miles or so already…

oh…and about hydro-lock…well, it POURED BUCKETS the entire drive home..i was a little worried for a bit… ZERO issues. i even drove thru snow and giant puddles. no issues.

total cost for mods so far? $56 bucks for the K&N. ~4 mpg gain? ~10hp gain?

worth it. oh oh…and i used a 90 degree 3 inch downspout elbow from home depot on the intake to turn it downwards like that. :D it was $3.

next comes a milled head! :D

i took this:

honda element airbox mod

out of here:

honda rallement airbox modification

Not What I’d Hoped For

My weekend started off on a bad note. Friday afternoon, I started feeling sick. I dunno what the hell is up with me the last year or so… I had pneumonia in December…then AGAIN in March… it’s like I have AIDS or something…just without all that nasty HIV part. :/

So Friday afternoon, I’ve got the stuffy/runny nose and a cough. Friday night, I feel like death. Saturday morning, I wake up to an awesome surprise of feeling so crummy that I want to die, but Lisa comes to the rescue with a round of leftover antibiotics! WHOOO!

//begin antibiotic, cough-drops, and DayQuil regiment.

Saturday was SCCA PDX. Basically, it’s a sort of time-trials solo race event thingo where people in fancy cars try and lap the track as quickly as possible, and at the end of the day, whoever goes fastest wins. I’m not entirely sure that there’s even trophies or anything.. it appears as though it’s simply a timed trackday for bragging rights. I could be wrong though…I’m still learning about this car stuff.

nissan gtr rfr fernley scca pdx
Continue reading Not What I’d Hoped For

Is It Really May?

This past weekend, Tomas the Terrible joined me after a brief hiatus for some 24 Hours of LeMons action up at Reno Fernley Raceway as well as shooting a wedding for a racer friend of ours.

We headed out Thursday night as there was a Friday practice for all the LeMons Racers.

What is The 24 Hours of LeMons? Well, put frankly, it’s a 24 hour endurance race where people buy pieces of shit cars for $500 or less, put all kinds of ridiculous decorations and whatnot on them…

sheen machine lemons rfr
Continue reading Is It Really May?

SCCA at Fernley

At some point late in the week I was hit with a sudden bout of curiosity regarding what had been planned for my weekend. Its a simple process, Joe posts up on the calendar what events we will be shooting, and I request those days off from my other jobs. There is just that single simple question of what I will actually be doing with that time.

As it turns out, SCCA stands for Sport Car Club of America…Cars, four wheels, sessions with strict passing rules, and strange and unusual makes like “Toyota,” “Subaru,” and “Nissan”.

muscle car

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